THE "NJ WEEDMAN" is back in the Garden State, and he's looking to plant one pot-friendly person in the jury pool who might help him blaze a path to permanent freedom.
On Wednesday morning, Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion will appear in court in Burlington County as jury selection begins in his retrial on marijuana distribution. Police found a pound of herb in his trunk during a 2010 traffic stop.
Forchion, 48, has bone cancer and a medicinal-marijuana card from California. He claims that his weed was for medicinal purposes, and notes that his arrest occurred after New Jersey had passed a law to allow medical marijuana.
"This is it; this is my Armageddon day. I got my whole life screwed up over this case," he said Tuesday morning, shortly after landing in Philadelphia from Los Angeles.
Forchion, who recently opened a new medical-marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, was first tried in May, but the jury was deadlocked. He's looking to put a few sympathizers on the jury this time around, and he doesn't think it should be too hard.
"Fifty percent of Americans believe marijuana laws are wrong. I only need one," he said. "I am openly looking for marijuana legalizers."
Forchion is also looking to push a jury-nullification defense, which means that the jury can choose to acquit him if it doesn't agree with the law. Forchion, who represents himself, claims that the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey blocked his efforts to present that defense during his first trial. A New Hampshire jury nullified marijuana-cultivation charges against a Rastafarian last month, Forchion noted.
The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office declined to comment Tuesday.
If convicted, Forchion faces up to 10 years in prison.
Contact Jason Nark at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-854-5916. Follow him on Twitter @JasonNark.